Friday 14 February 2014

Step by step how to make a bath bomb

I have been wanting to make these for ages now, I mean for YEARS.  As today is Valentine's Day, I thought it would be fun to make some!  

To make you own here is a Step by Step tutorial to make homemade Bath Bombs...

  • 100g bicarbonate
  • 50g cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of essential oil
  • Food colouring
  • 20g Epsom Salts


Mix the baking powder and Epsom salts in a bowl


Add the olive oil, essential oil and food colouring and mix it in until it thickens.  You may need to add a drop more olive oil so it forms a dryish dough.


Put the mixture into moulds. We used dinosaur chocolate moulds and cookie cutters to make our shapes.


Leave them for a couple of hours until they are dry.  Then they are finished.

Use within three weeks the quicker you use them the better the fizz!

When I was researching to make my own personal recipe, I looked around and saw some made with borax! Don't use borax, it's far to dangerous, it is a carcinogenic, which means it can cause cancer.  Borax is also really, really bad for your liver, not something you want to be bathing in!
I also read that corn flour can feed yeast infections, so if you suffer with that I wouldn't use any corn flour recipes either, I didn't add any to mine as so it's a recipe that can be used by all (an added challenge to making a new recipe).

Epsom salts on the other hand are very good for you:
  • It is believed that raising your magnesium levels may: Improve heart and circulatory health, reducing irregular heartbeats, preventing hardening of the arteries, reducing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.
  • Epsom Salt improves the body's ability to use insulin, it reduces the chance of getting diabetes or reduces it's severity.
  • Epsom Salt flushes toxins and heavy metals from the cells, this helps ease muscle pain and helps the body to eliminate harmful substances.
  • Epsom Salt improves nerve function by regulating electrolytes - calcium is the main conductor for electrical current in the body, the magnesium in Epsom salts helps maintain proper calcium levels in the blood.
Interestingly, I have also found that Epsom salts also helps with:
  • Helps Detoxify the body of pollution from the environment.
  • Helps improve your mood and stimulates relaxation.
  • Sulphate in Epsom salt helps to improve oxygen use and absorption of nutrients.
  • Helps to prevent and ease migraines.
  • Reduces inflammations and pain.
  • Helps ease menstrual pain.
  • Gets rid of dead skin cells.
  • Helps reduce acne and blackheads.
  • Gives you more energy
  • Moisturizes and softens rough skin.
  • Epsom salt helps improve concentration.

Now for the science behind it all!

A bath bomb is really showing how acids and bases react when they are mixed together. In this experiment, the baking soda is the base and the cream of tartar is the acid. But the reaction of this acid-base combination can be controlled by the other ingredients in the bath bomb
Epsom salts absorbs the liquid to help keep the baking soda and cream of tartar from reacting with each other when liquids are added and also from reacting with the moisture in the air.
Epsom Salts are also helpful if you live in a place with high humidity, as they can be used as dehumidifiers soaking up the moisture in the air.
We didn't add borax, but it is often used in bath bombs as it works as a preservative and an emulsifier - it stabilizes the acid and the base and keeps them from reacting with each other before entering the water.  Epsom salts do the job of keeping the acid and bicarbonate from reacting so we can leave out the borax.
Water is needed for the reaction to occur because it dissolves the solids and allows the ions in the acid and the base to move and collide with each other, causing a reaction to occur, the FIZZ!
When these two chemicals react it forms a gas, carbon dioxide.  The carbon dioxide then comes up to the surface of the water in the form of bubbles, this is because the gas is less dense than the water.
Why add the oils and the fragrances?  They are useful as a liquid to help form the bath bombs as well as cause the skin to be smooth and scented.


  1. We made bath bombs on a semi-industrial scale just before Christmas but used citric acid rather than cream of tartar. We didn't use Epsom salts, Borax or any other stabiliser but were careful to keep the bombs in a dry place until needed. These were popular Christmas gifts for the children's friends.

    1. I was thinking of trying citric acid next time, I want to see which produces the best bubbles ;) They do make lovely presents, you're right!

  2. We buy citric acid in bulk from Summer Naturals

  3. We buy citric acid in bulk from Summer Naturals

  4. Tried citric acid and it was too acidic for my youngest so we are back to the cream of tartar again. I still use Citric acid for other things so thanks for the tip :)

  5. Lisa,you are doing some great job there.I keep checking your posts every now and then.It is very inspirational and you make learning process a fun activity for my kids.Thanks.

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